Healthy Challenges for Europe Meeting in Norway 20/9 – 24/9 2011
1 st General Lyceum of Kalamaria, Thessaloniki, Greece
Thalassa (the sea), a source of artistic inspiration Ladies and Gentlemen, dear students, the subject of our presentation is “Thalassa”, which means in Greek “the sea”, as a source of inspiration for Greek artists, composers and painters. Hellas is a country washed by the sea from coast to coast. As a result, the sea is an integral part of life, the idiosyncrasy and the personal expression of Greeks. Greeks are charmed by the sea, they are moved by her capriciousness, they are provoked by its tumult and serenity alike. Thus, it is only natural that the sea has determined and dictated the artistic pursuits of Greeks ever since antiquity. Hellas is a country washed by the sea from coast to coast. As a result, the sea is an integral part of life, the idiosyncrasy and the personal expression of Greeks. Greeks are charmed by the sea, they are moved by her capriciousness, they are provoked by its tumult and serenity alike. Thus, it is only natural that the sea has determined and dictated the artistic pursuits of Greeks ever since antiquity.
The sea as an artistic theme in the art of painting has appeared as early as in the ancient years in a variety of artefacts and has remained so up until now. From the ancient vessels, the amphorae and the murals we have reached our contemporary waterscapes. Painting is on the one hand inspired by the sea itself as a natural element, and by the off-shores, the ships, the harbors as well as by the marine and fisherman life that unfolds itself in these environments. The marine themes of Hellenic painting are truly inexhaustible. However, the sea is not just a stereotype pattern within the Hellenic painting, but rather an attempt to immortalize a moment, an unspoken coincidence created by the play of the waves, the light, the wind and the sky. Greek painters are familiar with the sea and the sky when there is tempest and when there is serenity; they have experienced the sea’s undulation and the faint shimmer of creek waves, the caress of the sun on its glassy glaucous surface and the rage of lighting in a turbulent tempest.
We will start our voyage, by presenting a representative sample of artefacts. Paintings and murals from the Hellenic antiquity,the Hellenistic and roman years. In the Byzantine years as well as in the years of the Ottoman Empire, the artistic expression inspired by the sea was temporarily suspended to be restored in the 19 th century, as a dear theme of painters, among which two of the most important ones are Ioannis Altamouras and Konstantinos Volonakis.The interest of the Greek painters in the sea has remained undiminished in the subsequent years reaching our contemporary artistic creation.
The sea’s immenseness leads to the creation of countless art creations, which, unfortunately, was impossible to present in the framework of a short presentation made by students. However, we will attempt to provide you with a represenantive sample of art creations inspired by the sea, from a variety of periods of the Hellenic art. Our presentation will be accompanied with music composed by the Greek composer, Stamatis Spanoudakis.